Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, October 26, 2007

New poll reveals top concerns among Afghans

A poll sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development and conducted by a team of Afghans concluded that security issues, including terrorism and violence, were the single biggest problem in Afghanistan, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

According to the article: “The main goal was to gauge public sentiments on social and political issues, ‘in a country that is undergoing rapid changes,’ the authors said.”

“Insecurity is the main reason for the people to believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction,” the authors of the poll wrote. “In the eyes of men and women of Afghanistan, the security situation in the country has deteriorated.”

The poll found that this view remained unchanged from the previous year.

In terms of political sentiment, the poll revealed that the ideas of political tolerance and freedom of expression were not fully realized in society; many still felt reluctant to speak freely and critically about their government.

Some confidence was expressed with regard to national institutions such as the media, aid groups, security forces, and tribal and provincial councils. However, confidence in the justice and political system is weak.

In terms of empowerment of women, the results remained mixed, with 53 percent of respondents strongly agreeing that women should have equal rights while 32 percent “somewhat agreed.”

Religion remains an important issue in Afghan society. Sixty-six percent of respondents said democracy could be Islamic, while 29 percent said that democracy challenged Islamic values.

For the full article, click here.

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